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2023 Arbitrator & Advocate Symposium
Join us on October 26th and 27th
Plan now to attend one of the largest gatherings of labor advocates and arbitrators, receive first-rate, balanced instruction on cutting edge labor arbitration topics, and participate in dedicated networking opportunities with both advocates and neutrals. Application has been made with the Supreme Court of Ohio Commission of Continuing Legal Education for 9.50 total CLE hours, with 2.50 attorney professional conduct instruction.

Intended audience: Advocates (Union and Management) and Neutrals (Arbitrators and Mediators), Attorneys, Lay Representatives, HR Professionals.

Scholarships are available for students interested in a career in Labor Law. If you are a student and would like to be considered for a scholarship, please send a Letter of Interest to [email protected] by October 1, 2023.
Crowne Plaza Columbus North - Worthington
6500 Doubletree Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43229

A designated room block has been reserved for $115.00 per room per night plus applicable taxes. Please make reservations by October 18, 2023.  Refer to the Arbitrator and Advocate Symposium room block.  Group Code is AR5.  Use this Booking Link to book your room.
Presenter Handouts
Crowne Plaza Columbus North - Worthington
6500 Doubletree Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43229
From the North
From I 71 use exit 117 for Dublin Granville Rd, Route 161. Turn right onto Dublin Granville Rd. Turn right onto Busch Blvd. Turn right onto Kingsmill Parkway and continue until it dead ends into the hotel parking lot.
From the South
From I 71 use exit 117 for Dublin Granville Rd, Route 161. Turn left onto Dublin Granville Rd. Turn right onto Busch Blvd. Turn right onto Kingsmill Parkway and continue until it dead ends into the hotel parking lot.
From the East
From I 270 North to exit 27, Cleveland Ave. Turn right and immediately get into left lanes. Turn left onto Schrock Rd. Go 2.5 miles and turn left on Doubletree Ave and the hotel will be visible on the left.
From the West
From I 70 East to I 270 North to I 71 South. Use exit 116 for Dublin Granville Rd, SR 161. Turn right onto Dublin Granville Rd. Turn right onto Busch Blvd. Turn right onto Kingsmill
Thursday, October 26, 2023
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
Symposium Check-In
1:00 PM - 1:15 PM
Welcome - George Crisci & David Stanton
1:15 PM - 1:45 PM
The State of Labor Arbitration and the National Academy of Arbitrators
Bill McKee, NAA President
(Moderator: Rick Bales)
1:45 PM - 2:45 PM
Free Speech and Social Media in the Workplace
Panelists:  Jonathan Downes-Management; James Petroff-Union; Howard Silver-Arbitrator
(Moderators: George Crisci, Danel Zeiser & Charles (Chip) Kohler)
2:45 pm - 3:00 pm
3:00 pm - 4:30 pm
Issues in Law Enforcement
Panelists:  William Hicks-Management; Kim Rutowski-Union; Mike Falvo-Arbitrator
(Moderators: Betty Widgeon & Stephan Lazarus)
4:30 pm - 5:00 pm
Ethics in Arbitration
Presenter:  Arthur Pearlstein
(Moderators: Tammy Poole & Betty Widgeon)
5:00 PM - 5:15 PM
Special Announcement
George Crisci
5:15 PM - 7:15 PM
Networking Reception
Friday, October 27, 2023
7:00 am - 8:10 am
Symposium Check-In/Continental Breakfast
8:10 am - 8:15 am
Welcome - George Crisci & David Stanton
8:15 AM - 9:45 AM
Interest Arbitration
Panelists:  Joe Hegedus-Union; Brett Geary-Management; Felicia Bernardini-Arbitrator
(Moderators: Tobie Braverman & Stephen Lazarus)
9:45 am - 10:00 am
10:00 am-11:30 am
Just Cause—How Arbitrators Rule
Panelists: William C. Heekin, Meeta Bass, Lisa W. Timmons
(Moderators: Kate Nicholson, Dennis Minni, & David Stanton)
11:30 am-12:30 pm
12:30 pm - 1:30 pm
Legal Review—”Hot Topics”
Presenter: Rick Bales
(Moderators: David Stanton & Daniel Zeiser)
1:30 PM - 2:30 PM
Contract Interpretation Issues - How Arbitrators Rule
Panelists: Margaret Nancy Johnson, Christopher L. Beebe & LaVerne Boyd
(Moderators: Tobie Braverman & Michael Duco)
2:30 PM - 3:30 PM
DEI, Professionalism and Access to Administrative and Judicial Tribunals
Presenter:  Angela Phelps-White
(Moderators: Thomas Worley & Don Collins)
3:30 PM - 3:45 PM
Summary - George Crisci
Symposium Presenters
Rick Bales . Esq.
NAA Arbitrator, Professor of Law, Ohio Northern University

Meeta Bass. Esq.
NAA Arbitrator/Mediator, Bass Dispute Resolution Services, LLC

Christopher L. Beebe, Esq.
Arbitrator, Dispute Resolution Services LLC

Felicia Bernardini, Esq,
Arbitrator/Fact Finder, Bernardini Arbitration Services

LaVerne Boyd, Esq.
Principal Attorney and Arbitrator, Boyd Legal Services

Jonathan Downes, Esq.
Zashin & Rich

Micheal Falvo, Esq.
NAA Arbitrator, Legal Training Coordinator/College Instructor, City of Detroit

Brett Geary, Esq.
Director/Regional Manager, Clemans Nelson & Associates

William C. Heekin, Esq.
NAA Arbitrator, The Arbitration and Mediation Service

William Hicks, Esq.
Chief Counsel-Litigation and Labor and Employment Law ,City of Cincinnati
Joe Hegedus, Esq.
Ohio Patrolmen's Benevolent Association

Margaret Nancy Johnson, Esq.
NAA Arbitrator

Bill McKee, Esq.
NAA President, Morgan Lewis

Arthur Pearlstein, Esq.
Director of Arbitration, Office of Shared Neutrals at the Federal
Mediation and Conciliation Service

James Petroff, Esq.
Wentz, McInerney, Peifer & Petroff

Kim Rutowski, Esq.
Lazarus & Lawson, LLC

Howard Silver, Esq.

Lisa W. Timmons, Esq.
Arbitrator, Executive Director, Mediation Tribunal Association

Angela Phelps-White, Esq.
Executive Director, Ohio Civil Rights Commission
Planning Committee
David Stanton, Esq.
Co-Chairperson/NAA Arbitrator/Mediator/Fact-Finder

George Crisci, Esq.

Co-Chairperson/OSBA Certified Specialist in Labor & Employment Law,
Zashin & Rich

Tobie Braverman, Esq.

Donald Collins, Esq.

Michael Duco, Esq.
AGC & Field Service Director, Ohio Civil Service
Employees Association Local 11, AFSCME, AFL-CIO

Dina Gesouras
Meeting Manager, Scarlet City Events

Charles (Chip) Kohler, Esq.
NAA Arbitrator/Mediator/Fact-Finder

Stephen Lazarus, Esq.
Lazarus and Lawson, LLC

Ellen Lasure
Meeting Manager, Scarlet City Events

Dennis Minni, Esq.
NAA Arbitrator/Mediator/Fact-Finder

Kate Nicholson, MBA
Administrator, Office of Collective Bargaining,
Ohio Department of Administrative Services

Tammy Poole
Field Operations Manager,
Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service

Betty Widgeon
NAA Arbitrator/Mediator/Fact-Finder

Thomas Worley
Former Administrator, Bureau of Mediation, SERB

Daniel Zeiser
NAA Arbitrator/Mediator/Fact-Finder
2023 Arbitrator and Advocate Symposium Brochure
Presenter Bios
Rick Bales
NAA Arbitrator, Professor of Law, Ohio Northern University

Rick Bales is a faculty member at Ohio Northern University Law School. He teaches a wide variety of labor/employment and ADR courses, Torts, and Civil Procedure. He has published more than 100 scholarly articles and authored or co-authored 10 books on a variety of topics related to labor/employment/ADR, including Labor and Employment Arbitration in a Nutshell and the casebook ADR in the Workplace.

Rick also is a labor arbitrator. He is a member of the National Academy of Arbitrators and the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, and he serves on panels for the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, American Arbitration Association, State Employee Relations Board (Ohio), Michigan Employee Relations Commission, Minnesota Bureau of Mediation Services, Houston Police Department, City of Columbus & Fraternal Order of Police, Lockheed Martin/IAM, and PERG-U.S. Virgin Islands.
Meeta Bass
NAA Arbitrator, Bass Dispute Resolution Services, LLC
Meeta A. Bass is an accomplished legal professional concentrating in ADR. As an arbitrator, Meeta serves on various permanent panels and rosters, such as the Cincinnati Federation of Teachers and Cincinnati Public Schools, the City of Columbus and several unions, Frito Lay ADR Program, NALC and APWU/USPS Postal Panels, NTEU and the Internal Revenue Service, Ohio, SEIU and OCSEA/AFCMSE and the State of Ohio, PLBs and many more. Additionally, Meeta is listed on arbitration rosters such as the AAA, AMS, FMCS, FINRA, ICR, and NMB. In her mediation role, she is also listed on mediation rosters for organizations like United Airlines/Association of Flight Attendants-CWA System Board of Adjustment, OCSEA and SEIU/1199 and the State of Ohio.

Throughout her ADR career, Meeta has actively participated in professional associations, including serving as President of the Central Ohio LERA (where she served as President) and the National Association of Railroad Referees (where she serves as President), and involvement with the National Academy of Arbitrators, and The Society of Federal Labor Relations & Employee Professionals.

Before focusing on arbitration and mediation, Meeta served as a Common Pleas Court Magistrate from 1996 to 2014. Meeta holds a Juris Doctorate in Law from Capital University, a Masters in Business Administration from Franciscan University, and a Bachelor's degree in Political Science from Franciscan University.

Chris Beebe
Chris Beebe has worked for Sixteen years as a labor relations professional at the U.S. Postal Service at the District, Area and Headquarters levels. During this time, he advocated 145 cases at arbitration and resolved thousands of other cases prior to arbitration. The last seven years of his career was with the Headquarters Labor Relations staff, where he trained labor relations advocates and managers. Chris participated in negotiating 3 national agreements with major unions representing hundreds of thousands of employees of the U.S. Postal Service. Additionally, he co-facilitated numerous joint training initiatives with the American Postal Workers Union, National Association of Letter Carriers, and National Postal Mail Handlers Union. Chris has been an arbitrator for the last six years and is currently on panels with the National Postal Mail Handlers Union – U.S. Postal Service; National Association of Letter Carriers – U.S. Postal Service; American Postal Workers Union – U.S. Postal Service; Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service; and the State of Pennsylvania B   .
Felicia Bernardini
Arbitrator/Fact Finder, Bernardini Arbitration Services

  • Felicia Bernardini is an arbitrator, fact finder and mediator specializing in labor and employment issues. She is on multiple rosters and panels including the American Arbitration Association, Labor Panel (AAA); the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Services, Roster of Arbitrators (FMCS); the Arbitration and Mediation Service, Roster of Arbitrators (AMS); the Ohio State Employment Relations Board, Roster of Neutrals (SERB); the State of Ohio and SEIU 1199, Permanent Panel; the State of Ohio and Ohio State Troopers Association, Permanent Panel; the State of Ohio and Unit 2, Permanent Panel; the State of Ohio and Ohio Education Association, Permanent Panel; The City of Columbus and CWA Local 4502, Permanent Panel; and the City of Cincinnati and Cincinnati Organized and Dedicated Employees (CODE), Permanent Panel. She has been practicing as a full time neutral for fifteen years and has handled contract interpretation, discipline and removal cases, as well as Ohio fact finding and conciliation cases. Prior to becoming a neutral Felicia worked for twenty-five years in the field of public sector human resources management as both an administrator and as a consultant. She has been an instructor for the OSU John Glenn School of Public Affairs in both the Ohio Certified Public Manager Program (OCPM) and the Management Advancement for Public Service program (MAPS). She holds two degrees from The Ohio State University, a Master of Public Administration and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology.
William C. Hicks
Chief Counsel-Litigation and Labor and Employment Law
City of Cincinnati Law Department
William has been a practicing attorney in Cincinnati since graduating from the University of Cincinnati Law School in 1997. He first worked for the City of Cincinnati Law Department in 1996-1997 as a law clerk. He started his career at one of the leading employee side law firms, Freking and Betz (now Freking, Myers & Reul) before returning to the City as a prosecutor. He spent time with a Columbus area firm and then four years in-house as Labor Counsel for FirstGroup America, handling labor arbitrations, union elections, unfair labor practices charges, and negotiations across the country, before returning to the City in 2012. In 2016 he became the head of the Labor and Employment Section for the City handling all areas of labor and employment law. In 2022 he became Chief Counsel of both Litigation and Labor and Employment in 2022. In this capacity, in addition to his prior duties he is responsible for managing all defensive litigation for the City. William has handled hundreds of arbitration hearings, dozens of labor negotiations, hundreds of administrative charges, and numerous state and federal court jury trials and appeals. He has successfully argued cases in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, Ohio’s First District Court of Appeals, and the Supreme Court of Ohio.
LaVerne Nichols Boyd
Principal Attorney and Arbitrator, Boyd Legal Services
Legal Counsel and former Administrative Director for public entity. Currently in private practice and working as a labor arbitrator for Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service Contributing Editor: “How Arbitration Works”: 6th Ed.  Supplement, Elkouri and Elkouri, 2008. Handled varied labor matters in many diverse industries. Areas of experience include: Federal, State, Municipal Sectors, Employment, Housing, Transportation, Procurement, & Police Matters.
Jonathan Downes
  • Over thirty years representing public and private employers.
  • Fellow in the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers.
  • AV Preeminent rated by Martindale Hubbell.
  • Adjunct Professor, Fisher College of Business-Graduate OSU.
  • Negotiated over 500 labor contracts including state-wide, state elected officials, counties, cities, township, etc.
  • Over 250 mediations, arbitrations, fact-finding, and conciliation hearings; frequent speaker on negotiations and impasse.
  • Represents employers in arbitration, organizing campaigns, administrative hearings, trial and appellate courts.
  • Ohio State Bar Association Certified Specialist in Labor and Employment Laws.
  • Selected as Best Lawyers in America; America’s Most Honored Lawyers; Top Attorneys in Ohio; Top 50 Central Ohio Lawyers; and an Ohio “Super Lawyer”.
Micheal Falvo
NAA Arbitrator, Legal Training Coordinator/Arbitrator/College, Instructor, City of Detroit

  • Mike Falvo retired in 2013 as Second Deputy Chief after 35 years of service in the  Detroit Police Department, and in 2021 retired from the faculty of the Criminal Justice  Department at Wayne State University. He is a member of the National Academy of  Arbitrators and is co-chair of the NAA Michigan Region. 
    He received B.S. and M.S. degrees from Michigan State University and a J.D. degree from Wayne State University Law School. He has been appointed to numerous public and private sector arbitration panels. He has frequently been designated by the Michigan Employment Relations Commission as a fact finder and as chairperson in police and fire interest arbitrations. He is listed on the arbitration rosters for AAA, FMCS, FINRA, and the National Mediation Board.
Brett Geary
Director/Regional Manager, Clemans Nelson & Associates
Brett is a Regional Manager with Clemans Nelson, a member of Clemans Nelson’s Board of Directors, and serves as Corporate Secretary. He advises clients in human resource management, labor relations, contract negotiations, arbitration, regulatory compliance, discipline, and policy development. He has conducted training on a variety of human resource and labor relations issues, such as FMLA, drug and alcohol testing, discriminatory harassment, and discipline.
Brett received his J.D. from Cleveland Marshall College of Law and his B.A. from The Ohio State University in Criminology.
J.D., Cleveland-Marshall College of Law
B.A. (Criminology), The Ohio State University
Practice Areas
Human Resource Management
Labor Relations
Contract Negotiations
Regulatory Compliance
Policy Development
William C. Heekin
NAA Arbitrator, The Arbitration and Mediation Service 
Full-time labor arbitrator, mediator, and factfinder; as well as an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) neutral regarding individual rights, employee/ employer disputes. Presently on the labor arbitration and/or factfinding rosters maintained by the American Arbitration Association, the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, the National Mediation Board, the City of Louisville, Kentucky Labor/ Management Committee, the
Pennsylvania Bureau of Mediation, and the State Employment Relations Board (Ohio). Currently serving and have previously served on a number of permanent labor arbitrator panels.

Issues having decided in arbitration include discipline, discharge, promotion and upgrading, layoff, recall, bumping, posting, incentive rates or standards, job classification, overtime, holidays, vacations, fringe benefits, discrimin- ation, management rights, and arbitrability.
Joe Hegedus
Ohio Patrolmen's Benevolent Association
Attorney, who is a certified specialist in labor and employment law, with over thirty years of experience in all aspects of litigation and administrative practice concerning labor and employment related matters, including:
- Extensive experience in representation of public sector unions including litigation, arbitration of employment related matters, contract negotiations, civil service appeals, matters relating to the Fair Labor Standards Act, particularly concerning wage and hour issues, interest arbitration, and unfair labor practice matters.
- Defense of Civil Rights Litigation including Title VII, 42 USC Sections 1981 and 1983.
- Defense of other discrimination-based litigation both in federal and state courts, grounded in statutes such as Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Americans with Disabilities Act, Title IX, and actions based on Chapter 4112 of the Ohio Revised Code.
- Extensive practice before administrative agencies, in Ohio, such as State Employment Relations Board, State Personnel Board of Review & Bureau of Workers’ Compensation.
Margaret Nancy Johnson
NAA Arbitrator
  • A native of New York, Margaret moved with her husband to Cleveland in 1970 where she attended the law school at Case Western Reserve University, graduating in 1973 and a becoming a member of the Ohio Bar the following year. After several years as a solo practitioner, Margaret returned to the law school in 1978 to take a course on Labor Arbitration taught by Edwin Temple, following which she determined to pursue a career as a full-time arbitrator. Margaret has served as an instructor on labor arbitration and labor history for several agencies as well as at Cleveland State University and Cuyahoga County Community College.

    Margaret Johnson is listed as an arbitrator with the American Arbitration Association and the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service. Since 1984, she has been on the roster of the Ohio State Employment Relations Board as a fact-finder and a conciliator. Over the years, she has been included on numerous permanent panels in a variety of public and private sector industries. Margaret is a member of the National Academy of Arbitrators and the Labor and Employment Relations Association.

    When not working, Margaret enjoys time with her family, especially traveling both nationally and internationally with her grandchildren. Since 2008 she has lived in an old farmhouse on a 52 acre farm part of which she has cultivated with organic fruits and vegetables. Stop by sometime for some freshly picked produce!
William McKee
NAA President, Morgan Lewis
William McKee served as a lieutenant for two years in the US Army between graduate degrees. Despite two sets of orders to Viet Nam, he never shipped. Bill completed graduate studies at the University of Missouri then taught at Mizzou and Kentucky State University before receiving a post-doctoral appointment at the Brookings Institution as a Staff Associate in Employment Policy.

In 1978 Bill joined the faculty of the University of North Texas as Assistant Professor of Applied Economics and stayed for 33 years. Along the way he held several positions, including department chair and chair of the faculty senate before becoming the Executive Assistant to the Chancellor. When later forced to choose between administration and arbitration, Bill went back to teaching, research, other part-time administrative positions, and arbitrating. For the past 12 years he has been professor emeritus.

Bill was selected as the NCAA Faculty Athletic Representative of the Year by the All-American Football Foundation in 2003 and was elected to the Texas Labor Management Conference Hall of Fame in 2004. In May 2023, he became President of the National Academy of Arbitrators.
Arthur Pearlstein
Arthur Pearlstein serves as Director of Arbitration and of the Office of Shared Neutrals at the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS). He has previously served FMCS as a mediator, as General Counsel of the Agency, and as head of the ADR and International Program. In addition, he has worked extensively in the area of dispute systems design in the workplace. He has substantial experience in arbitration and mediation as a private sector lawyer, manager, professor, and trainer. Arthur was Professor of Law and inaugural director of the Werner Institute for Negotiation and Dispute Resolution at Creighton University in Omaha. He has authored or co-authored book chapters and articles on arbitration, workplace dispute resolution, dispute systems design, and human resources, and spoken widely on these and other topics. Arthur received his J.D. with honors from Harvard Law School, holds a master’s in dispute resolution from the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine University in California, and a B.A. from Haverford College in Pennsylvania.
Angela Phelps-White
Director Phelps-White's professional and personal achievements demon- strate a commitment to public service and upholding the rule of law. She has broad experience in the public sector, including nearly seven years with the State Employment Relations Board, seven years at the Ohio Attorney General's Office, and thirteen years as a magistrate with the Franklin County Common Pleas Court. Director Phelps-White also served as a Judge for the Franklin County Common Pleas Court.

Director Phelps-White earned both her Bachelor of Science in Political Science and her Juris Doctorate from the University of Dayton. She has served on many boards and commissions, including Jack and Jill of America - Columbus Chapter, Amethyst, Inc., Kids Voting, and the League of Women Voters of Metropolitan Columbus. She has received numerous accolades and awards, including the Editor's Choice Award from the National Library of Poetry, Member of the Year Award from the League of Women Voters of Metropolitan Columbus, and Black Women of Courage honors..
Kim Rutowski
  • Kim Rutowski is a principal with Lazarus & Lawson. Kim was admitted to the Ohio bar in 2003 after receiving her law degree from the University of Cincinnati College of Law. Kim has dedicated her legal career to representing public employees, primarily police and fire unions. Her representation includes disciplinary matters, grievances, arbitrations, civil service appeals, civil litigation, mediations, workers compensation, and matters before the State Employer Relations Board or State Personnel Board of Review. Kim also defends public employees against allegations of civil rights violations and other claims arising in the course of their employment.
Howard Silver
Howard D. Silver is an attorney at law licensed to practice in the state of Ohio whose practice is comprised of serving as a neutral arbitrator or mediator in labor arbitration cases in the public and private sectors and serving as an impartial hearing officer in state of Ohio quasi-judicial, administrative law hearings.  Mr. Silver is a member of the roster of fact finders and conciliators maintained by the Ohio State Employment Relations Board and is a member of the labor arbitrator panels maintained by the American Arbitration Association and the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service

 Mr. Silver earned his law degree from The Ohio State University College of Law in 1976 and earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1973.

Mr. Silver is a sole practitioner with an office in Columbus, Ohio.
Lisa W. Timmons
Arbitrtor/Executive Director, Mediation Tribunal Association 
Lisa W. Timmons is an arbitrator, mediator, case evaluator, facilitator, and fact finder of labor, employment, and consumer cases. 

Timmons is listed on the arbitration panels of AAA (employment), the Michigan Employment Relations Commission (MERC), Iowa Public Employment Relations Board, NAM (National Mediation and Arbitration), FINRA, CAP-Motors, the American Health Law Association (AHLA), and the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS); and mediates EEO cases for the United States Postal Service, §1983 cases for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, and discovery motions on the general civil and business court dockets in the Sixth Judicial Circuit Court of Michigan. Timmons also provides case evaluation of employment and commercial cases in the Wayne County Circuit Court. 

Timmons is the Chair-Elect of the ADR Section of the Michigan State Bar, where she co-chairs its committee on Diversity and Inclusion, a member of PREMi, the Michigan Regional Chair of WIDR (Women in Dispute Resolution), the Academy of Court-Appointed Neutrals (NACAN), and a board member and chairperson of the ADR section of the Wolverine Bar Association (WBA). 

Timmons maintains memberships with LERA’s National, Oregon, Houston, New Jersey, and Detroit chapters, the Society of Federal Labor and Employee Relations Professionals, and the Labor Guild of the Archdiocese of Boston. 

Timmons earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from Michigan State University, a Master of Arts in Dispute Resolution from Wayne State University, a Juris Doctor from Detroit Mercy Law, and is a Michigan licensed real estate broker. Timmons was named an Up-and-Coming Lawyer in 2021 by Michigan Lawyers Weekly and received the ADR Hero Award in 2022 from the ADR Section of the Michigan State Bar.
James Petroff
Wentz, McInerney, Peifer & Petroff
Attorney and firm shareholder James Petroff has been a Board Certified Specialist in Labor & Employment Law by the Ohio State Bar Association since 2005 and has more than thirty years of national labor union practice experience in all aspects of collective bargaining for a variety of private sector, public sector, federal sector, and Railway Labor Act unions. He concentrates his legal practice on collective bargaining and litigation, including employee benefits cases and class actions in the federal and state courts. He has appeared on the Ohio Superlawyers website with a star credential.

He has frequently served as an author on labor issues including: Chapter Author, Elkouri & Elkouri, How Arbitration Works (Bureau of National Affairs 6th ed. 2003 to present); Contributing Author, The Developing Labor Law (Bureau of National Affairs 2002- present); Senior Editor, The Railway Labor Act (Bureau of National Affairs 2016-present). He has also regularly served as a speaker for the AFL-CIO lawyers’ conferences in the Midwest and at the national level, for the national Teamsters lawyers’ conferences, and for various bar associations, employment law seminars, and union training programs.
He has been admitted to practice in the State of Ohio, and in the federal courts in Ohio and in the District of Columbia, the District of Minnesota, Eastern District of New York, the Southern District of Florida, the District of Nevada, the Western District of Kentucky, the Northern District of Illinois, the Eastern District of Michigan, the District of New Jersey, the Western District of Texas, the Northern District of Texas, the District of Wyoming; and in U.S. Courts of Appeals in the Fifth, Sixth, Eighth, Ninth and District of Columbia Circuits; and in the United States Supreme Court.

He is a graduate of The Ohio State University. He received his law degree from The University of Dayton School of Law in 1989, Magna Cum Laude (with High Honors), and served as an editor on its Law Review. He serves as an officer of a non-profit organization, is active in civic affairs, and has served as the President and Vice President of a professional union. He resides in Bay Village, Ohio, on the west side of Cleveland.

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